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General News of Saturday, 22 February 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Why put Gyampo, Butakor in sexual harassment training when they were innocent – UTAG quizzes UG


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Leadership of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG) have expressed disappointment over the decision taken by the University of Ghana to enrol Prof. Ransford Gyampo and Dr. Paul Butakor in sexual harassment training and annual assessments up to five years.

In a statement signed by the association's President, Dr. Samuel Nkumbaan, they intimated that the sanctions meted out to their colleagues were ‘relatively harsh’, considering they were not found complicit of the sexual harassment charges they were indicted in the BBC expose’.

"...UTAG finds it unusual that persons who were not found complicit in any way of a case of sexual misconduct by the Facts Finding Committee be subjected to training on sexual harassment, and annual assessments up to five years."

Although the association would not condone the "contravention of the Statuses of the University, the Code of Conduct of the members, Sexual Harassment and Misconduct policy and other policies of the school," they warned against the incidence of undue external interferences in the carrying out of their mandates.

They also averred that they proposed for softer sanctions on Prof. Gyampo and Dr Butakor, an action that seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

Prior to the judgement by the Facts Finding Committee set up by the University of Ghana, UTAG recommended “a suspension with retrospective effect from the time of their interdiction, requiring them to refund financial remuneration received during the period of their interdiction to lessen the sum of the economic and emotional impact that his had on them.”

They further criticised the University’s Disciplinary Committee for not publicising their findings on investigations of sexual misconducts of the two lecturers of the school.

“…This in our view has not done the University sufficient good in terms of clearing the name and image of our members and the University of the allegations of ‘Sex for Grades’ by the BBC,” part of the statement read.

Professor Ransford Gyampo and Dr Paul Butakor were suspended for six months and four months respectively for their roles in a sexual harassment scandal that hit the school last October.

The suspensions which are without pay take effect from January 1, 2020.

The pronouncement, contained in a statement from the University of Ghana also added that the two lecturers will have to be trained on the University’s sexual misconduct policy before they resume their posts based on a “positive assessment”.

They will also be subjected to an annual assessment for a five-year period.

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